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Thread: Anyone built a sauna?

  1. #1
    Member zekeski's Avatar
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    Default Anyone built a sauna?

    Howdy folks,
    last winter I got an itch to build a sauna but this summer I kind of forgot about it...until this winter. I'm thinking 8' X 10' concrete slab embedded with flat slate for a floor, drained of course. Walls would be framed on top of a sill around the slab, insulated with vapor barrier and vented. Roof midly pitched and possibly a sod or "living" roof. I would be heating it with a wood stove and a shower head will be installed just outside the front door. I have read some internet articles, and found a few interesting ideas, but I just would like to hear some do's and don'ts, shoulds and shouldn'ts from the AK perspective. Oh and cheap naturally available LOCAL resources are VERY good. Lets hear your ideas...Thanks.

    Randy

  2. #2
    Member Akheloce's Avatar
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    Default

    I dont have one yet, but my buddy has the best one in the area. He has a barrel type stove (not a 55 gal drum, but a thicker barrel style) that is in the middle of a partition wall. You walk in the sauna, and the first room is the changing room, and where you access the door to the stove. You go through a door, and you have the back end of the stove and benches around the perimeter. The partition wall is river rock around the stove, with the rest stick-framed in. He keeps an old galvanized pail of water in the sauna side to douse on the stove for steam. The whole thing is 2x6 R-21 insulated, with a layer of 1" blue board and vapor barrier inside, followed by red cedar T&G. the whole thing is 8x16, with 8' rooms.


    One other piece of advice I can offer is keep it WELL away from any other buildings. I know of 2 people in the past 5 years who have burned down their saunas, and one of them was a few feet from his cabin and shed- he lost them all.

  3. #3
    Member zekeski's Avatar
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    Default sounds perfect.

    I think that set up is just right. I don't know if I'll be able to go that large, depends on how cheap I can find materials. I really like the stove in the rock wall thing.
    How are folks burning their saunas? Unattended fires, or wood shingles, or....???? Thanks for the input, I'm getting antsy.

  4. #4
    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Default Always a good idea to do a search of forum

    http://www.forums.outdoorsdirectory....ad.php?t=40536

    There may be some good info in this thread above.

  5. #5
    Member zekeski's Avatar
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    Default Nice.

    Thanks Mark, I didn't realize this post was on here. Any chance you would post some pics of yours? I really appreciate the info on drainage and fire issues. Mine will be built fairly close to my house (70' or so) I will go the extra mile to prevent a fire and drain it properly. Do you think barrel stoves are the ticket or do they deteriorate too quickly? Thanks again and keep the ideas coming

    Randy

  6. #6

    Default log sauna

    Other than the good ideas already mentioned, I would add a couple that I used when I built a log sauna eight years ago. One is to have a high and low vent in the hot room to be able to adjust the temperature. Another is to install a glass block in the wall of the hot room to let in a little natural light, which is very nice even when it's dark outside. We also have 12 volt lights run off a deep cycle battery now maintained with a small solar charger. We're not so far from the house that we can't run a cord and charge it with 110 if needed. But by far the best thing I would not do without is a dunk tank in the deck outside filled with rain water from the roof. It's almost as good as having a cold lake outside the door. I may add a metal water tank high near the stove for a shower in the winter at some point.
    Randy
    RandyS

  7. #7
    Member zekeski's Avatar
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    Default Thanks...

    for the ideas, I will definately be using some of these tips. I'll post a pic or two when it's done...Randy

  8. #8
    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Default Zekeski...

    ...sorry I didn't get back to you, searched for some sauna pics but didn't have any, and it's so dang dark now that the ones I did go take were too dark (flash on camera is busted). Good luck with your sauna,


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